What is a FRAC?
The Fonds régionaux d’art contemporain (Regional collections of contemporary art – Frac) are public collections of contemporary art created in 1982 as part of the policy of devolution of power set by the government via regional councils in order for art to be present in each and every one of France’s regions. Their first
mission is to gather a collection, to display it for all kinds of audiences and to invent new ways of raising awareness of contemporary creation.
Today, the Frac collections bring together 30,000 works from 5,700 French and foreign artists. For more than 30 years, the Frac have been carrying out their mission to support young artists often by being the first institutions to acquire their works.
The Frac structures include exhibition areas, storage facilities, as well as areas for educational and documentary resources. Yet, unlike museums and centres of art, the Fracs can’t be linked to a unique exhibition place. The Frac collections are essentially nomadic and use original broadcasting and educating tools.
They are displayed in both France and abroad.
Every year, a third of the works is exhibited, which makes the Frac collections the most disseminated of French public collections. Mobility defines them as essential players of a policy of cultural land settlement that aims at reducing geographical, social and cultural discrepancies, introducing contemporary art to a highly diverse range of audiences.
Every year the Frac structures organise around 500 exhibitions and 1,300 educational, artistic and cultural events in a diverse range of venues and in conjunction with a variety of private or public institutions. In 2017, the Frac welcomed more than 1.5 million visitors throughout France.
From 2011 to 2013, Platform liaised with the 23 Fracs in the preparation of The Pleiades – the 30th anniversary of the Frac, a series of exhibitions giving carteblanche
to an artist that takes place in every region of France.
The same year, to highlight the major changes accomplished over the last ten years, the itinerant exhibition Frac – New architectures was coproduced with the Centre Pompidou.
Each year since 2016, the 23 Frac structures have invited the public to discover the full diversity of their activities through a nationwide highlight, a weekend called known as “WEFRAC”.
In 2018, at the invitation of the Centre Pompidou, the 23 Frac are exhibiting an artwork from their collection as part of the new presentation of the permanent collections of the Musée national d’art moderne.
Since 2003, driven by the Frac du Grand Est then with the coordination of Platform, projects have taken place in Italy and Poland (2003), in Spain and in the United Kingdom (2004), in Germany and in Slovakia (2005), in Israel and in the Czech Republic (2006), in Argentina, in Italy and in Romania (2007), in Belgium and in Lithuania (2008), in Croatia (2007 and 2012).
In 2010, giving carte blanche to American curators enabled the organisation of Spatial City: An Architecture of Idealism, the first itinerant exhibition of the Frac collections in the United States (Chicago, Milwaukee and Detroit.)
In 2014, Platform coordinated A Republic of Art, the international component of the Frac’s 30th Anniversary. This exhibition, designed in collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (the Netherlands), mapped out a recent cultural history of art and society in a “globalized” world.
In 2016 and 2017, the exhibition What is not visible is not invisible, a selection of artworks from the Frac curated with the National Museum of Singapore and focussing on artistic devices linked to physical and psychological experience. The exhibition went on to tour Korea at the Song Eun Artspace (Seoul) and Thailand at the BACC (Bangkok). These three exhibitions attracted more than 80,000 visitors.